Reconnecting

Yesterday I attended my first appointment, an assessment, with the physiotherapist. I didn’t like the feel of the physical building, just something about it that felt, well, aggressive. Then I discovered that the clinic shares facilities with a small gym. That explains it, there is an air of pushiness to the place, and gyms strike me as places that encourage the push. While perhaps that is warranted at a gym, it is not a great energy for healing. So that is one strike against the place, a physical plant issue.

The physiotherapist came out to greet me with a smile, she was young, and friendly, and not aggressive in the least. I liked her. So that is a strike for the place.

She asked me if I had brought shorts with me, no one had mentioned that I might need them during my initial call to set up the appointment. Another strike against the place, an administrative issue.

She went through the assessment efficiently, and kindly. She explained what she was doing as she went along. She asked for permission to touch me, when she needed to touch my body. More strikes for the place.

Her assessment made sense, she taught me two knee exercises to build strength around my knee. She printed out a sheet outlining the exercises, and wrote a few notes on it based on my questions. Very professional, and great “bedside manner”. More strikes for the place.

When I tally up the strikes, and weigh them as what is most important to me, this clinic is acceptable, and it is close by. I wouldn’t rave about the clinic settingj, but I would rave about the physiotherapist.

I began with the exercises last night. I was shocked, truly shocked, by the weakness in the injured side of my body. I have been babying this knee for quite a while, without thinking, and my muscle strength and tone have deteriorated significantly as a result. I know this because I do the same exercises with the uninjured side of my body, and the difference between the two sides is shocking.

I have postponed further visits to the physiotherapist until I have been to the Orthopaedic Clinic for the assessment there. If I need surgery, I will need all of my health coverage benefit for the post surgery physiotherapy. When the benefit runs out I will be done, as we have no financial means of paying for it ourselves. I explained this to the physiotherapist, and to the administrative person who processed my payment. I had to pay for the appointment myself, and must apply for reimbursement.

The visit to the physiotherapist, and the exercises, force me to centre my attention on my body. This is a tough thing to do, as I suffer from various forms of chronic pain. My method of dealing with the pain is to universally disconnect from painful sensations. That means that reconnecting with one source of pain means reconnecting with all of them. Yikes is all I can say!

Hopefully my brain will soon train me to “localize” the pain sources; to disconnect from some, while remaining connected to my knee and leg area. Fingers crossed!

Sunshine! It was very cold here this morning, but it was tropical compared to the temperature at the country house! Attila is going through another phase where he must get up at 3:00 a.m. to fire the masonry heater, then get up again at 6:00 a.m. to close the damper and get ready to leave for work. During these spells the country house can be quite chilly during the day. Attila is not there during the day. I am glad I am not there! If I was I would be wearing long underwear, layers and layers of sweaters, a down vest, a scarf, and gloves, just to keep from getting chilled. I can do it, I did it for over ten years. I would still be doing it, if it weren’t for the isolation in the bush and cabin fever, which are the reasons I am staying at the little house in the city.

I am reminded of my Grandmother, when she was in her seventies, during harsh winters. They heated their house with wood, it was cold at night! Granny wore a balaclava to bed at night, which was a great idea! I remember thinking how clever she was, figuring out how to stay warm!

I had a busy day, managing to get around with Tank, doing errands. I filled Tank’s tank with gas, for the first time this month. It wasn’t that low, but I wanted it topped up. I bought a few items at the discount store, things on Attila’s list. After the discount store, the last stop was the grocery store. Resisting the temptation to buy more fresh vegetables, the list was followed, milk, coffee, soda, olive oil. Then it was home for lunch.

The afternoon was spent at the laundromat. The wet laundry was carted home and now festoons the furniture and every available flat surface. It will be dry by morning, ready to fold and store away.

It was a pleasant and uneventful day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

The Country House
-26°C (-14.8F)
Date: 7:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -25.6°C
Dewpoint: -28.0°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: WNW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -30

The Little House in the City
-16°C (-3.2F)
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 January 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -16.1°C
Dewpoint: -19.2°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: NW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -22

Quote

“Success is following the pattern of life one enjoys most.”
Al Capp
1909 – 1979

16 Comments

  1. WendyNC

    Oh, that selective blocking of pain is a tricky thing! I don’t know if I could do it from the standpoint of deliberately letting one pain through, but I certainly understand why you need to be truly aware of what’s going on with your knee. A torn meniscus is not an insignificant thing and I wish you good healing.

  2. It sounds like your day was very eventful. It’s shocking how fast our muscles can atrophy.

    I’ve had two hip replacements with two different surgeons and two different procedures. My right hip was replaced 15 years ago and is strong with an excellent range of motion. The left leg was done in 2010 and is still weak and have limited range of motion. In my case, I think the difference has to do with the difference in procedures – but I am still shocked at the weakness of my left leg. It’s second nature for me to lift it during certain movements.

    Hope your exercises help with the healing. xo

  3. What is the plan for Attila’s job once the country house sells? Is he going to quit? Be transferred closer to the little house in the city? I must’ve missed this info. Don’t ask me how; I read every single one of your entries. Have there been many potential buyers through?

  4. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I’m glad to hear you found enough positives in your round of physiotherapy. Ah, the reimbursement versus benefit amount, I know it well! We deal with reimbursements when we get new glasses. Especially with two sets of (mine and DH’s) expensive Progressive bifocals, it can be quite the trick to have enough money in one place to get everything done at once. Thank goodness for tax refunds!

    I’m up early this morning. Thank goodness the furnace is already firing to bring the temp up to its morning high for DH to get up, as outside it’s currently -20.6C, which I believe would be around -4F.

    I hope the lower gas prices are getting to you at the city house. We’re enjoying as low as 83.4 cents per liter, here. I’m almost giddy, thinking about the price possibly dipping below 80 cents. I swear I really don’t remember it ever being that low in the time I’ve lived in Canada, though it might have been at some time.

  5. Thank you Wendy for your good wishes! I am going to give it a good go, trying to block all but the knee pain. I am hoping that my unconscious mind will just develop a technique. This aging stuff is not for the feint of heart, 🙂

  6. Reenie, thanks for the good wishes!

    Wow, that is quite a difference between the two hip replacements! I guess with any surgery it is a gamble as to how successful it is going to be, and from what I read the older we are the less likely we are to encounter success. I hope for the best, which would mean I could still go for walks. But I have been thinking that if the inability to go for a walk drags on for too long, I will be getting some sort of mobilized device so that I can roam the streets every day. I want to be out and about on a daily basis even if it isn’t under my own steam. But I am hoping that with time the knee issue will come round.

    I am finding it interesting about myself that since the exercises reveal weakness, I don’t want to do them! I like doing them with the good knee, and I don’t want to do them with the weak knee! The things you find out about yourself, :).

  7. Kate, when we sell the house in the country we have a few plans, depending on the circumstances at the time.

    Plan A: Attila stays in the same job and we rent an apartment in a nearby town, where I can walk to get milk, the mail etc., and Attila can commute 30 minutes to work. This would alleviate my isolation and cabin fever, place us 30 minutes from emergency health care (anaphylaxis) and gives Attila free time when he isn’t working.

    Plan B: Attila stays in the same job and finds a room to rent nearby during the winter months, while I live at the little house in the city. From April to October we would live in a trailer at the camp, where Attila can commute to his present job, and I am only 30 minutes away from emergency health care.

    Plan C: Attila finds work near the little house in the city and we move lock, stock, and barrel to the little house in the city.

    We have been working on selling the country house first, because, if Attila worked near the little house in the city we would have to commute to maintain the country house, we wouldn’t like that. Attila continues to search for work near the little house in the city, but that has been a five year failure and counting. It seems like it isn’t going to happen. So Plan C, the original plan, is fading away.

    Right now we are on the unplanned for plan, where I live at the little house in the city for the winter, and Attila works at the same job and maintains the country house. It doesn’t seem like we are moving forward, but the isolation and cabin fever are addressed under this plan, and I am five minutes from emergency health care. So some of our issues are solved, but a few are created; we miss one another!

  8. Teri, it is colder where you are than it is here, it is -16C (-3.2F). Lucky me! Attila is dealing with -27C (-16.6F) this morning.

    The lower gas prices have arrived at both the little house in the city, and the country house! They are making the commute between houses a lot less expensive! I remember these lower prices very well, and remember being horrified at the thought of paying over $1 per litre.

    I am glad the prices are lower, because the minimum wage people who have drive all over the place to their three different poorly paid jobs, just to survive, can use more of their pittance for things like heat and food for their families.

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Hmmm… Something is off somewhere. Environment Canada is saying it’s currently -17C or +2F. The airport didn’t get as low as the city reading, so they don’t show what -20C is but when I feed it into Google, Google does say that -20C is -4F. Either way, it’s c.o.l.d!

  10. Bex

    It so much harder dealing with aging body parts in the severe cold! When I was young, I chuffed off my mother who sold her home and moved to Florida because of her arthritis! I wouldn’t believe that would help! Apparently it did – for her. I personally don’t feel a heckuva lot better in the hot months but I know the cold wet months are doing a number on my joints. As usual, I admire your attempts to always move forward positively and not to dwell on problems. I think if I were in your place now, I would get a second cat to keep in the “city” house! (I assume Mist is in the “country” house?).

  11. Bex, you inspired me, and Terra! Terra dropped by today, and I was talking to her about the idea of a second cat, which I am not really keen to do. She suggested that one of her three cats would love to visit for a while! He is older and loves one-on-one attention… that I can do! Now, all I have to do is get Terra to remember to bring him over for a visit! He is a sweet cat, I hope she remembers soon!

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